COLD SPRING HARBOR, NEW YORK – The copper-clad laminate market saw a sharp decline in both revenues and profits in 2022, primarily due to weak demand from PCB fabricators, according to Prismark's latest update on the industry.
The rigid PCB industry (excluding flex) consumed more than $15 billion of copper clad laminates in 2022, including prepreg but excluding mass laminate – a decrease of some 19% from 2021. In area terms, the CCL market represented 664 million sq. m. of rigid laminate materials, including paper, composite, FR-4, and specialty laminates/other – a decrease of more than 13% from 2021.
Some of the main reasons for the decline included inventory adjustments by end market customers, declines in material ASPs, and exchange rate fluctuations. Decreased demand for PCs, TVs, and consumer electronics applications impacted the conventional materials market.
In terms of sales, the top ten laminate suppliers in 2022 represented 75% of the market. The top four laminate manufacturers in 2022 included Kingboard, Shengyi Technology (SYTECH), Nan Ya Plastics, and EMC and represent almost half of the overall market (excluding mass laminate).
Specialty materials managed roughly 3% growth, which was mainly driven by the demand from high-end server and networking systems. Specifically, the high-speed laminate market benefited from the high-performance computing and data center equipment markets, while the high-frequency laminate market benefited from the automotive ADAS radar and the wireless infrastructure markets.
Sales of all major suppliers of laminates for package substrates declined even though the package substrates market experienced continuously strong growth in 2022, especially during the first three quarters, with the disconnect mainly being caused by inventory adjustments.